The seemingly interminable struggle between Team Flash and The “I know everything you’re going to do before you do it so you can’t touch me” Thinker continues in “Think Fast,” an amusing title for a show about a speedster. The show opens with Thinker wearing a borrowed face to thanks to Ralph’s power and attacking an ARGUS black site. It’s an ugly battle and seemed like just an excuse for the writers and special effects guys to cut loose with Thinker’s wide array of stolen abilities. He even uses some of them in new and creepy ways. To no great surprise, he gets what he wants. As an aside, what is the mortality rate for ARGUS agents? They seem to die in swarms throughout the CW-verse.
Barry zips back to STAR having checked several possible launch sites, including a mention of Blackhawk Island. The Blackhawks are an ever changing group in DC Comics, ranging from a volunteer air force in World War II like the Flying Tigers to a high-security shipping company to a private intelligence company. It’s nice to see them mentioned. Cisco has a few suggestions that Barry doesn’t like, and Wells is deteriorating rapidly. Barry and Iris talk about her blog post about The Thinker. Barry clearly has some mixed feelings here.
Dr. Finkel seems to have become the team shrink, and now it’s Caitlin’s turn to visit her. I really wish the team would either leave her alone or rely in her confidentiality requirements and tell her who they are. They discuss Caitlin’s life, her childhood, and her father, which I think is the first mention of him. She gets called away, which is a recurring theme, and Finkel makes a joke about her rates for the team.
With ARGUS under attack, Barry speeds over to Star City and borrows Diggle. They continue the running joke about Diggle’s reaction to superspeed, and I wonder if that’s why they used him, since I’d think Lyla would have made more sense plot-wise. They find out how bad things are and get the seemingly mandatory countdown until Thinker’s plan can start. After they get Diggle home, the team studies the defenses and sees Thinker took some extra, ruthless precautions. Thinker, for his part, enjoys another villain monologue. The man does love the sound of his own voice.
Back at the West home, Cecile is getting restless as her due date draws near. Joe is reduced to some “nervous husband with pregnant wife” jokes. He wonders where Wally is, and Cecile’s temporary power starts getting a lot more kick to it. It’s a bit like Liv on iZombie on a new brain. Iris continues her hunt for Marlize, and asks Harry to join her when the poor man wanders in looking lost. I feel so bad for him, even if it was self-inflicted.
Caitlin and Cisco have an idea of how to deal with the trap at ARGUS and Barry really doesn’t like it. It also involves him using a power that, in the comics, Wally West originated. Barry comes up with several excuses and Cisco disarms them all. They do a few practice runs which go really badly, and then Caitlin gets called away to help with Cecile’s power problems. Cecile suddenly ends up channeling Caitlin, which was fun to watch, and Ceicile warns Caitlin she’s ignoring something important.
Iris and Harry do some research, and he comes up with an idea I’ve been wondering about for a while now. Iris, who in general doesn’t seem to be the most forgiving person, is very opposed to the new plan. She storms off in a huff. I really think at times the writes don’t know what to do with her, so she’s subject to these weird, extreme, out of character moments.
Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco do more training, and Cisco does something I think they pretty much said was impossible in the episode “Flashtime.” In fact, they ignore several things from that episode in this one. Caitlin has her own issues which trigger a flashback to her childhood. A worried Barry doesn’t want to train them if they’re going to get hurt and walks off.
Harry goes to see Iris and they have a talk. He makes some good points, she gets huffy about his shoes, and then gets some sudden insight on where to look for Marlize. At the West home, Cecile has another bad spell and Joe talks her through it. He does really well at it, actually.
Barry can’t find a way to fix things on his own, and Cisco gives him some rough, if needed, straight talk. They argue about how to approach this, and we learn that Barry is still wallowing in guilt over Ralph’s death. Cisco argues with him and makes some valid points that Barry apparently doesn’t want to think about. Caitlin shows up and sides with Cisco, while Iris and Harry head off in search of Marlize.
Cisco, Caitlin, and Barry breech to the ARGUS facility, or at least the outside of it. Caitlin has a new toy that they debate the name of for a bit, because they’re heroes, sure, but they’re geeks. They launch their plan and it seems to go perfectly, with Caitlin and Cisco doing important hero support work as Flash goes after Thinker and chases him through one of his portals. Flash gets what should be a victory, but Thinker doesn’t seem to care and lectures him before leaving. Why the Fastest Man Alive just sat there and listened to a lecture, I’m not sure.
Caitlin asks Cisco to use his power to help her figure out what she’s been repressing. She finally gets a good view of an incident from her childhood and she and Cisco learn something very surprising about Caitlin. Iris and Harry find Marlize, who isn’t happy to have uninvited guests. They argue for a while and Iris apparently gets through to her. The episode ends with some really bad news as Thinker’s plan kicks into gear even after Barry’s victory earlier.
What I liked: I’m really intrigued by the revelation about Caitlin. I hope we manage to learn more about it. It was good to see Diggle, and I’m amused they kept up the bit about his inability to handle speed. I’m glad Cisco called Barry on his bad plan. It might be Barry’s show, but he needed to hear that. Cecile’s power issues were amusing. I’m glad they at least acknowledged all the interrupted sessions with Dr. Finkel. I don’t like him, but I’ll give Thinker that he’s using his arsenal of powers well.
What I didn’t: This whole bit about it doesn’t matter what the heroes do, they lose, is getting old. It’s an issue on Flash and Arrow this season and it needs to stop. I’m sick of The Thinker and his smug attitude. He’s just plain too powerful now. I don’t like what’s happening to Harry. Between this and the stuff with J’Onn’s dad on Supergirl, I really wonder if someone high up at the CW-verse is losing someone to Alzheimer’s.
This season is dragging, which is bad for a show about speed. I’ll give this a 3 out of 5 and that might be a bit generous.